Tired of earth, they dwindled on their hill, Watching and waiting in the moonlight until The aspens' leaves quite suddenly grew still, No longer quaking as the disc descended, That glowing wheel of lights whose coming ended All waiting and watching. When it landed The ones within it one by one came forth, Stalking out awkwardly upon the earth, And those who watched them were confirmed in faith: Mysterious voyagers from outer space, Attenuated, golden—shreds of lace Spun into seeds of the sunflower's spinning face— Light was their speech, spanning mind to mind: We come here not believing what we find— Can it be your desire to leave behind The earth, which even those called angels bless, Exchanging amplitude for emptiness? And in a single voice they answered Yes, Discord of human melodies all blent To the unearthly harmony of their assent. Come then, the Strangers said, and those who were taken, went.
From Starting from Sleep: New and Selected Poems by Charles Martin. Copyright © 2002 by Charles Martin. Reprinted with the permission of The Overlook Press.